Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 17.6 ounces from Vermont, please welcome Maple Syrup! His opponent, weighing in at 8.8 ounces from Canada, please welcome Birch Syrup!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – MAPLE SYRUP
To maple trees, humans are vampires. We drill holes into their necks and suck their sap lifeblood out 1 painfully slow drop at a time. It takes a tough customer to endure that punishment day after day, season after season. And our current contestant Maple Syrup just keeps coming back for more! It takes 40 ounces of sap to generate 1 ounce of maple syrup (as the water is boiled off leaving the remaining minerals and nutrients). The pride of Vermont and Canada packs a concentrated punch that has made it a culinary legend.
In the Blue Corner – BIRCH SYRUP
While only deciduous trees generate sap (others produce resin), the majority of them are from the maple family. The remaining two sap tree families are Birch and Walnut. Very few farms even attempt to harvest them commercially, and Birch is by far the most expensive. It takes 100 to 150 ounces of birch sap to make 1 ounce of birch syrup. And the sap tends to flow for a shorter period of time (3 weeks) compared to Maple (5 weeks). Also recent warmer weather has made this crop even more difficult to cultivate. The trees need to freeze somewhat during the winter for ideal sap production. Birch has a lower sugar content then maple, giving our contender a less sweet reputation compared. These white bark trees have a smoky flavor reminiscent of molasses but with mineral undertones of flavor. Birch syrup packs a lot of punch in every drop and is looking for some respect!
- The Play-By-Play
And Maple syrup charges out of his corner like a horse escaping from a glue factory! Birch has a more calm and controlled approach. This contestant might be too refined for the sweet science of pugilism. Maple throws a hook, and then an uppercut, and then another hook worthy of Iron Mike Tyson! Birch bobs and weaves and then punch after punch suddenly pounds Maple. No mercy is shown, no quarter is given. Maple is weeping sugary, sweet tears from the intensity of the attack.
AND THE WINNER IS….
Birch wins in the second round by technical knock-out. The referee just couldn’t stand to watch the humiliation of this once great athlete continue. While high quality maple syrup is still available, cheaper quality grades have flooded the market blinding consumers to the taste of premium quality inverted sugars. Birch being a more rare commodity is only top notch!